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Technical 1932 Pickup Rebuild Thread UPDATED 1/11/16

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Dennis Lacy, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. Stovebolt
    Joined: May 2, 2001
    Posts: 3,407

    Stovebolt
    Member

  2. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,209

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    I've known Chris for a good number of years now and I'm familiar with the history of his roadster. He's a really good guy and knowing it will help get the family roadster back on the road, I'm glad that it went to him.
     
  3. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,209

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    Today I received a very anticipated delivery! My original '32 axle came home with a fresh 2.5" drop thanks to Greg Haynes (Anson.) Clean consistent work, as usual and no damage to the spring perch or kingpin holes as I've, unfortunately, run into with other axle dropping services. This means I'm going to be spending all day tomorrow (Saturday) at the shop building the new front end. :D

    [​IMG]Hosted on Fotki

    [​IMG]Hosted on Fotki

    One of the things I want to accomplish with this thread is to show people some of the services we provide at our shop. Aside from hydraulic brake systems, one of our specialties is setting up dropped axle assemblies for 1932 - 1934 Ford's.

    Spindle Education

    When setting up dropped axle front ends for 1932 - 1934 hot rods most people ditch the original spindles in favor of the later 1937 - 1941 round flange or 1942 - 1948 square flange spindles. I am willing to bet that a lot of those people do this simply because that's what they see other people do, without giving much thought to the engineering behind it. On every 1932 - 1934 (and Model A) dropped axle front we build we use 1932 - 1934 spindles for several very specific reasons.

    Reason #1

    The bearing snout on 1932 - 1934 spindles is located 1/2" higher, relative to the axle kingpin boss, than both versions of the later model spindles. That means for those people who are trying to do everything they possibly can to lower the front of their car, using the later model spindles is actually counter productive to that goal.

    Below is a mock up I did with my newly dropped axle. I clamped it solidly to our welding table and setup a steel ruler 90 degrees to the table top.

    [​IMG]Hosted on Fotki

    First is the 1932 spindle. Note that the center of the bearing snout registers on the steel ruler at 4 5/16".

    [​IMG]Hosted on Fotki

    Next is a 1942 - 1948 square flange spindle. (I did not mock up a 1937 - 1941 round flange spindle because the result would be the same) Note that the center of the bearing snout registers on the steel ruler at 4 13/16" showing that the snout is 1/2" lower relative to the axle.

    [​IMG]Hosted on Fotki

    The following pictures of both spindles installed on the axle (taken from a direct side view) clearly shows the difference in height of the bearing snouts relative to the axle kingpin boss.

    [​IMG]Hosted on Fotki

    [​IMG]Hosted on Fotki

    Reason #2

    1932 - 1934 spindles have a built in arm for the drag link, eliminating the need for a bolt-on arm.

    Reason #3

    The built in steering arm on 1932 - 1934 spindles, when viewed from directly above with the spindle in the straight ahead position, the upper steering arm angles away from the center of the axle and puts the center line of the drag link attaching hole 3/4" forward of the axle center line. This creates a 90 degree angle between the drag link and spindle steering arm. Likewise, the lower ends of 1932 and 1933 - 1934 pitman arms are twisted to also create a 90 degree angle between the pitman arm and drag link. This produces equal steering geometry and effort when turning left or right.

    All
    of the typical bolt-on steering arms needed with later model spindles places the center of the drag link attachment hole directly over the axle center line. This creates unequal steering geometry left vs. right because the starting angles are not the same. In one direction the steering starts over-center while in the other direction the steering starts behind center. Most people would argue that it's not something your likely to notice when steering the vehicle and thousands of hot rods have been done this way over the decades. We figure since Ford thought it was important enough to get the steering geometry correct, so should we. The photo below illustrates the position of the steering arm relative to the axle on 1932 - 1934 spindles.

    [​IMG]Hosted on Fotki

    Reason #4

    The lower steering arms are 1/2" longer on 1932 - 1934 spindles than both versions of later model spindles when measure from the center of the kingpin hole to the center of the tie rod attachment hole. This means that the tie rod will be located farther behind the axle making it less likely to interfere with the center of the front frame cross member when steered. This is especially important on vehicles where the center of the front cross member has been cut out and raised to lower the vehicle. The picture below illustrates the difference in length.

    [​IMG]Hosted on Fotki

    Reason #5

    The early spindle steering arms are slightly thinner making them easier to heat and re-shape when using a dropped axle. Also, because the arms are slightly longer it is possible for the modified shape of the arms to be more graceful and visually pleasing.

    Reason #6

    The upper drag link steering arm can be heated and shaped to exactly follow the shape of the dropped axle which looks sexy! Below is an example picture showing the re-shaped upper steering arm on a mildly dropped '32 axle that I set up for a customer several months ago.

    [​IMG]Hosted on Fotki
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
  4. jalopykid
    Joined: Nov 13, 2006
    Posts: 1,205

    jalopykid
    Member
    from Bozeman,MT

    Thanks for the info. I never realized the differences in the spindles.
     
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  5. Now I have to find a pair of 32 spindles:(
     
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  6. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,587

    volvobrynk
    Member
    from Denmark

    That's 32 p@rn right there!

    Are you telling me this is what you do for living?
    I might be slightly jealous!!
     
  7. HotRodMicky
    Joined: Oct 14, 2001
    Posts: 1,772

    HotRodMicky
    Member

    Hi Dennis,
    Thanks for explaining all the details to us
    Very helpful

    Cant wait to see more.

    You have lots of good products
     
  8. As above, thanks for the pictures and explanation. There's a few thousand words there. I just disassembled the axle out of my 34. Now I just have to clean up, detail and use.
     
  9. jalopykid
    Joined: Nov 13, 2006
    Posts: 1,205

    jalopykid
    Member
    from Bozeman,MT

    I have a nice pair of 32-34 spindles in the classifieds...maybe I should hold on to them...
     
    Old truck guy likes this.
  10. Kiwi 4d
    Joined: Sep 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,173

    Kiwi 4d
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    So what do you do with the backing plates when running hydraulics? To me slotting the holes is not good practice.
     
  11. Will Kimble
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Posts: 400

    Will Kimble
    Member

    Thanks for the info, 32-34 spindles just got more valuable! Lol
     
  12. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,728

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There was a thread with pics on this, some welding...Beautiful job, (just as the LACY thread has contained...Great job, Dennis!)
    A search hasn't turned it up yet. The re-configuring of backing plates is sound practice, good technology in utilizing stuff we have...
    LOVE the 6 reasons to '32-'34 spindle bliss. Was unaware of the over center steering arm geometry.
     
  13. Dennis sells these to index the backing plate properly

    [​IMG]
     
  14. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,641

    thirtytwo
    Member

    What are you doing for king pins and bearings? The bearing on early spindles is on top and the mechanical brake cup takes all the weight I think that is an inferior design and I assum ford did too in 1937 , Joe Kennedy told me he was using a small thrust washer between axle and spindle but I haven't seen one in use yet
     
  15. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,728

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Excellent question here, I wondered the same thing. Torrington (thrust brg with centrifugal rollers) is generally an 'open' design. In a dust-inhabited locale.
    Is there a 'cupped' or 'shielded' thrust brg. of the right diameter(s)?
    Thickness would be the rollers' diameters.
     
  16. In actual practice slotting the holes seems to work just fine, probably been done that way since '39.
    I've never had or seen any problems with slots.

    People's concern now-a-days seem be a result of the general idea of over-thinking everything and wanting to make stuff more complicated then it really needs to be.

    Anyway, just my thoughts on this.
     
    studebaker46 likes this.
  17. Mart
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,526

    Mart
    Member

    Thanks for sharing the insider secrets, Dennis.

    Mart.
     
  18. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,684

    2935ford
    Member

    I got a feeling there's more to come on this story! :)
     
  19. Stovebolt
    Joined: May 2, 2001
    Posts: 3,407

    Stovebolt
    Member

    How will these adapters work with original Lincoln backing plates?
     
  20. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,209

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    Like most anything, there is a good way to do things and a less than great way to do things. This is true of slotting the brake plate mounting holes.

    The early spindles use 3/8" bolts to attach the original mechanical brake plates while typical hydraulic brake plates have 1/2" holes on a slightly larger bolt circle, making it necessary to slot the holes inward so that the plates will mount up to early spindles. Most of the "slot jobs" that I have seen other people do simply involve cutting the 1/2" hole inward to the large center hole in the brake plate leaving 1/2" wide slots. Doing it this way does not exactly index the brake plate on the spindle and if the brake plate bolts were to become loose, the plate could rotate fore and aft due to the sloppy fitting slots.

    When I slot the backing plate holes I use the above pictured adapter plates as a guide. I then use a round file and slot the holes to exactly match the 3/8" holes in the adapter so that when the plates are installed on the spindles they are a precise fit.

    The brake plate adapter kit shown above (DLX-2000) is also a dedicated, precisely made kit for this purpose. The spacer ring has a raised lip that is the exact thickness of the brake plate and takes up the difference in size between the brake plate center hole and the circular register on the early spindles. The flange goes on the inside of the brake plate. The inner wheel bearing spacer is machined to exact dimensions to properly fit the spindle. (An original NOS spindle was used for measurement when the spacers were developed.) The bearing spacer also provides the shoulder for the inner bearing seal to ride on. Early spindles lack this shoulder because they did not have inner bearing seals. Instead they had a stamped round baffle that was pressed onto the narrow lip. Inner seals were not used until 1936.

    The older brake plate adapter kits on the market are nothing more than a cast iron piston ring and a cylinder head valve seat. Those kits are absolutely worthless because A) The piston ring is thicker than the backing plate so it's impossible to tighten the brake plate correctly and B) The valve seat is a sloppy fit on the spindle and in most cases turns with the drum/grease seal and wears on the spindle snout. Somebody decades ago grabbed some old engine parts and said "good enough" and that is the kit that has been sold forever, until the purpose-made DLX-2000 became available.

    For those that don't like the adapter ring and hole slotting, the new Lincoln Bendix style brake plates available from MT Car Products are also available in the early spindle bolt pattern (1928 - 1936) making them a bolt-on. You do still need the bearing spacer, which we can furnish separately from the adapter rings. Original 1939 - 1940 Lincoln front brake plates also come factory with the smaller center hole and smaller 3/8" bolt pattern and can be easily made to work on 1932 - 1936 spindles.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
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  21. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,209

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    These brake plate adapters will work perfectly with original Lincoln brake plates:

    - 1941 Shallow Front
    -1942 - 1948 Medium Front
    - 1939 - 1948 Rear (modified for front use by filling hand brake cable holes)

    1939 - 1940 Deep Front Lincoln brake plates have the same size center hole and 3/8" small bolt pattern as early spindles so they do not need the adapter ring. They also can't be made to work on either style of 1937 - 1948 spindles because the spindles physically won't fit in the deep spindle pocket.
     
  22. Stovebolt
    Joined: May 2, 2001
    Posts: 3,407

    Stovebolt
    Member

    Thanks Dennis - I had many emails to and fro with your father about fitting original Shallow backing plates that I have to 39-48 spindles, but not to 32-34.
    I have a RHD 34 spindle, now I have to find a LHD one without the steering arm on it to use on my "one-day" project.
     
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  23. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,209

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    For 1932 - 1936 spindles we offer a custom kingpin kit. The kit features shortened '37-'41 kingpins and Torrington thrust bearings that fit between the lower spindle boss and the bottom of the axle kingpin boss. This eliminates the upper mechanical brake socket. Each bearing is rated at 1,500 pounds, more than adequate for the front of these early cars. The load is also carried by the axle which is much better than having it carried by the kingpin socket. While original '32-'36 kingpins with the large socket can still be used with, and don't interfere with, Ford hydraulic brakes they absolutely will not work with original or reproduction Lincoln Bendix brakes. This is because the wheel cylinders on Bendix brakes are lower on the brake plate, literally right above the top of the spindle.

    For those that doubt the use of Torrington bearings in this application I can say that we have sold 100's (easily 500+) of these special kingpin kits that we make up and have never received a complaint or a report of failure. My Dad's personal 1934 Roadster uses this arrangement and has been on the road since 2004. It still drives every bit as nice today as day 1. My own T roadster on '32 rails that I built and put on the road in 2007 drove every bit as nice until it was sold in 2013 and the new owner has logged thousands of miles more with no complaints.

    When I get to that part of this project I will fully cover the Torrington spindle bearings!
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
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  24. My 32 Tudor project eagerly awaits the next step......
     
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  25. TexasSpeed
    Joined: Nov 2, 2009
    Posts: 4,622

    TexasSpeed
    Member

    This is the kind of stuff I love seeing on the HAMB. Try to fit in as much technical info as you can, please!
     
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  26. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,209

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    Today I spent 6 quality hours at the shop (minus a 30 minute In - N -Out burger break) and have the front axle assembly largely setup. I have a ton of pictures I will share with an accompanying detailed write-up. But not tonight. I'll start working on it in the morning. Stay tuned!
     
  27. Wheeliedave
    Joined: Jan 6, 2011
    Posts: 223

    Wheeliedave

    Dennis,
    I vaguely recall removing the kingpin and spindle assembly from a 32-34 Ford passenger car front axle years ago that had a "Torrington" radial roller bearing between the lower spindle boss and the lower face of the end of the axle. Was that a stock bearing that ford used or would that axle have had a newer set of kingpins, bushings, etc.?
    If it was a stock Ford part, is that basically the same as your
    part? Bear in mind that I have no idea what I did with those "bearing s" but I wish I had them now to put an early spindle on an aftermarket axle.

    Thanks, Dave
     
  28. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,209

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    The Torrington kingpin bearings were never a factory installation so this would be something someone did along the way. Depending on how long ago you found this setup, it could have been one of ours. We can't take credit for the idea, though. It was 12 or more years ago that another Southern California hot rod builder, Derrick Bower from Burbank, informed us of the idea on a visit to our shop. We then did the R&D to confirm it would work well enough that we would feel comfortable selling a kit. I don't know where Derrick got the idea from. So, it's possible that there was a person or two "out there" doing it before us.
     
    volvobrynk likes this.
  29. I recall Tony Nancy doing it in the 70's.
     
  30. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,587

    volvobrynk
    Member
    from Denmark

    As in Tony nancy yellow (aka Piss yellow) ?
     

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